2017 Intro: Marcus Hawkins

Last year as a freshman, Marcus Hawkins made an immediate impact for Morganton (N.C.) Freedom’s varsity football team. Due his performance, college coaching staffs are already showing interest in the 2017 defensive tackle.

”I’ve heard from Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest, “said Marcus Hawkins. “I’d say Clemson is showing me the most interest.”

He visited the Tigers during the spring.

”I went down there for the spring game,” said the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Hawkins. “It’s a beautiful campus and has a great environment. Having a chance to play in front of 80,000 fans and experiencing the most exciting 25 seconds in college football – running down the hill – it’s a pretty cool place.

“I also got a chance to talk to (defensive line) coach (Dan) Brooks, who’s my recruiter. He told me to keep working to become a better player.”

Over the summer, Hawkins attended to camps at Duke and North Carolina, with Duke being first.

”At Duke, it was pretty hyped,” he said. “It was a smaller camp, so you got to showcase your talents a little more. My favorite part of the camp was the intensity. All the coaches were really excited.

”I had a chance to speak to my recruiter; (tight ends) coach (Zac) Roper. He told me to keep working and that he’d be watching this fall.”

His next stop was North Carolina.

”It was a pretty good camp and I enjoyed it,” Hawkins said. “It seems like a great place and they have a great coaching staff. I really enjoyed the one-on-ones. They were very competitive.

”I also talked to (tight ends) coach (Seth) Littrell, who’s my recruiter. He just told to keep my grades up and to keep progressing as a player.”

He is excited about his sophomore season.

”Last year being a freshman starting on varsity, I was a little nervous,” Hawkins said. “But this year will be different because I’m going in with some experience. I know what expect as far as the speed and competition.

”As a team, we want to win a state championship. We have to come together and strive for that one goal.”

Freedom opens their season on Aug. 22 at East Burke.

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